King Lear

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  • King Lear
    • Characters
      • The sisters
        • Goneril and Regan
          • Evil, cruel, manipulative, disloyal, greedy, duplicitous
          • Kill each other "If not I'll ne'er trust poison"
          • They plot their father's downfall "let us hit together and in the heat"
            • "Put on what weary negligence you please"
            • "And in good time you gave it"
          • The show their falseness in the love test "She names my very deed of love only she comes too short"
        • Cordelia
          • Acts as a foil for her sisters
          • Good, honest, king, forgiving
          • Absent for most of the play (links to the fool)
          • "Love and be silent"
          • easily forgives her father "no cause"
      • the brothers
        • Edmund
          • cruel, manipulative, duplicitous, disloyal, greedy, charming
          • Initially the audience is sympathetic "Let me have lands , if not by birth by wit
          • We turn against him when he turns on his family "Look sir I bleed"
          • He plays the sisters against each other " One both niether"
          • Loses to Edgar in final battle, tries to redeem himself "the wheel has come full circle"
        • Edgar
          • Kind , loyal trustworthy, gullible
          • Is betrayed by his brother, boring, outlawed
          • Shows surprising bravery when he  transforms into Poor Tom "Edgar I no longer am"
          • Is incredibly loyal to his father as he forgives him easily and guides him when he is blinded
          • Battles Edmund and wins in good vs evil battle "The goods are just"
      • Lear
        • Tragic hero
        • begins as a harsh leader "Nothing will come of nothing"
        • The fool acts as his conscience
        • We feel bad for Lear when we see the sisters treatment of him
        • He remains flawed as he descends into madness "I am a man more sinned against than sinning
        • We see how he has changed when he reunites with gloucester
        • Showing empathy to the fool was a turning point
        • He is reunited with Cordelia and begs forgiveness. They die together
      • Gloucester
        • He seems crude when he discussed Edmund "He came saucily into this world"
        • He then rashly disowns Edgar
        • Edmund turns against him
        • He is blinded
        • Edgar leads him to his attempted suicide
        • He dies in Edgar's arms having been forgiven
      • Sub characters
        • Kent
        • The fool
          • Loyal to Lear
          • Acts as a conscience
          • Is unafraid to mock Lear
    • Themes
      • Sight and blindness
        • Gloucesters blinding "I stumbled when I saw"
        • Lear references blindness
      • Justice
        • Godly justice "like wanton flies to schoolboys"
        • Seeking revenge
          • The sisters feel Lear has done wrong to them
          • Edmund feels hard done by
          • Edgar seeks revenge in the end
      • Love
        • Cordelia and Edgar are loyal and forgiving
        • The love test "I love you according to my bond"
        • The fathers misinterpret which child loves them
    • Dramatic technique
      • Lear and Gloucester's stories mirror each other
        • Betrayed by cruel children
        • mistakenly banish loyal child
        • suffer and eventually die as a result
      • Disguises
        • Poor Tom
        • Kent
      • Nature
        • The storm mirrors Lears desent into maddness
      • Animal imagery

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